The selection of anaesthesia is a major decision that can have a significant impact on the recovery of a patient who requires to undergo orthopaedic surgery. Anaesthetist Dr Rowan Molnar (#DrRowanMolnar) says “every patient must be evaluated thoroughly prior to determining the type of pain control. Some of these factors include a patient’s past experiences with anaesthesia, and reactions, if any. What is most important is the patient’s current health and physical condition. One of the most essential factors in the pre-operative stage is to determine if the patient has any allergies, side effects from the use of drugs, and what medications or nutritional supplements and herbal remedies are currently being taken.” Discussing the risks involved depending on the selection of anaesthesia is also one of the major issues that every anaesthesiologist discusses with their patients.
Types of anaesthesia
There are three broad categories of anaesthesia, which includes local, regional and general anaesthesia. For major orthopaedic surgeries such as hip or knee replacement, local anaesthesia may be used to complement the main type of anaesthesia, to support pain control. On the other hand regional anaesthesia involves blocking of the nerves without any impact on the brain or breathing functions. This includes a spinal block where anaesthesia is injected into the spinal fluid that surrounds the spinal cord. Epidural block involves the use of local anaesthetics that are inserted into the lower back with the help of a catheter over a variable period of time. A peripheral nerve block involves the administration of local anaesthetics directly around major nerves such as the femoral or sciatic nerve in the thigh region. This block only numbs the leg that is injected. Anaesthetists may administer a one-time injection around the nerves or may opt to keep a catheter in place, which delivers local anaesthesia continuously around the nerves during and several days after orthopaedic surgery.
Dr. Rowan Molnar Anaesthetist
Australian Anaesthetist Dr Rowan Molnar (#DrRowanMolnar), currently a Staff Specialist Anaesthetist Launceston General Hospital, is experienced in providing pain management for a wide range of orthopaedic surgeries, which also includes successfully reviving a patient who experienced cardio-respiratory and vascular collapse during total hip joint replacement surgery. Dr Rowan Molnar (#DrRowanMolnar) Anaesthetist has over 25 years of international experience and has held various positions at major hospitals that include Massachusetts General Hospital, and Boston and John Hopkins Medical Centre, Baltimore in the USA.